Most major web designers face a big dilemma at some time: they either continue to work with small businesses on simple projects, or they move on to larger firms with more substantial budgets. While the tips below won’t guarantee success with big clients, they can help new designers get started.
Don’t Market on Price
Big firms have large budgets, particularly if the company is focused on online marketing. Selling one’s services based on price may work when competing for small clients and short projects, but it can backfire when looking for major clients. Large companies expect a certain amount of overhead and expenses that are managed with per-project quotes that take those factors into consideration.
Have Samples to Share
In today’s competitive economy, risk is a substantial factor. Many companies with once-high design budgets have hit a rough patch, and they now only invest in occasional usability studies and cosmetic updates. That’s why gurus like Joseph Kashurba advise clients to prepare samples that prove their competence and show how they’ve helped others increase conversion rates and profits. With good samples, designers can garner long-term interest even in a down economy.
Be Professional at All Times
Major clients are influential and successful, and many small-time web designers aren’t. Therefore, it’s important for growing firms to adopt an air of professionalism. Hire someone to take phone calls, build a team that handles different parts of the business, and treat every project as though it’s routine work rather than an unfamiliar event. With professional behavior, even small design firms can appeal to large companies.
Think in the Long Term
One-off projects and small gigs aren’t very valuable to web design businesses. While they can fill in rough spots and strengthen the firm’s portfolio, they rarely offer long-term opportunities. Successful marketers and designers know not to treat big projects as they would smaller ones; they understand the value of a relationship with a big client and they treat those products accordingly.
When a design firm submits a proposal to a client, they’re not just pitching for one project, but for future business as well. By approaching clients with long-term goals and by following the tips above, designers can open up to bigger projects and more well-known clients.